Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Older We Get The Funnier It Is

Daily Draw: Feng Shui Tarot ~ Judgment

His expression is slightly amused yet resigned. Like he has just heard some kids talking about sex. Every single generation thinks it invented premarital sex and the older we get the funnier the perception is.

I'm reminded by this card what is old is always new again in some form or other. We need to remember what we thought we were getting away with at 10, 15, and 20 before we summarily judge the generations following us as at worst a completely lost cause and at best hopeless, lazy, and lackluster.

"Some of the time
everything matters

Much of the time
nothing matters

In the long run
both everything and nothing

matter a lot" ~ James Broughton 1913-1999

Friday, December 30, 2011

Tower Graffiti

Daily Draw: Feng Shui Tarot ~ Tower

I chose this card instead of my normal fan and draw at random. It is a realistic yet optimistic Tower card rather than the norm of it all falls down. In the lower left we see the damaged and crumbling tower with the black clouds overhead, in the far distance bathed in light sits another tower, whole, untouched, with the pennant of residence bravely flying. 

I'm reminded by the walled path between the two towers of living with breast cancer. The initial diagnosis when the world falls down and all the options seem black. And later hope and percentages beckon from the light. My mad monkey of the mind spends its days pounding up and down the path between them.  Of the monkey and the cancer, the monkey is by far the more exhausting of the two. And even a whole Tower is still...a Tower. 

"It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity." ~ Ancient graffiti inside the Tower of London

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Body Mind Spirit Strength

Daily Draw: Feng Shui Tarot ~ Strength

The mental and physical wall this tai chi practitioner has built will not stand for long as the growing tree encroaches on the corporeal space and the tumultuous mountains of real life overpower the mind. This buffeting is required to keep us awake, alive, active, aware...but we need to create a refuge to have the strength to go another round, go another day, create the mental sanctuary of the wall. 

I'm reminded by this card the beauty of knowing and practicing yoga is mentally you can go there anywhere anytime via Pranayama, breath control. I set myself something new to learn each year, once it was yoga and it was the best thing I've ever done for myself. A few blocks from the cancer clinic a Tai Chi center has opened and I've been thinking that might be my focus for 2012. I need all the mental and physical strength I can capture. 

"Do not think of yourself as a small, compressed, suffering thing. Think of yourself as graceful and expanding, no matter how unlikely it may seem at the time." ~ Light on Life by B.K.S. Iyengar 1918-

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Invites And Repels

Daily Draw: Feng Shui Tarot ~ Moon

This side of the gate is the safety of the known. The other side with it's open water and torturous peaks is the unknown; wild, dangerous, exciting...and for many of us too scary to contemplate.

I'm reminded by this card that fear of change is why so few go through the gate, and why those who do have books and movies about their lives. There is something extraordinary about their adventures and inventions that both repels us yet invites us forward from the comfort of the known. I'd be the one who goes through the gate and sits on the steps on the other side with her pant-legs rolled up and her feet swinging back and forth in the water. The pretender.  Always wanting to go, always hanging back with conventionality. Perhaps serenity isn't what I'm working towards, but a true cutting lose...to cross the portal and go.

"It is extraordinary how we go through life with eyes half shut, dulled ears, dormant thought. It may be this very dullness that makes life to the incalculable majority so supportable and so welcome."  ~ Joseph Conrad 1857-1924

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sailing Serenely

Daily Draw: Feng Shui Tarot ~ Temperance

Ah Temperance, thou art so hard to find. Our lifestyles are so packed and we live by to-do lists. What is wrong with this picture?

I'm reminded by this card of serenity. It seems like I've already deep-sixed so much in my life over the last couple of years...but obviously it hasn't been enough, I still feel rushed and pressured. I wish to 'sail serenely forward'...

"Curiosity endows the people who have it with a generosity in argument and a serenity in their own mode of life which springs from their cheerful willingness to let life take the form it will." ~ Alistair Cooke 1908-2004

Monday, December 26, 2011

Inception To Completion

Daily Draw: Feng Shui Tarot ~ Magician

He is shown here with representatives of all four suits; White Tiger, Red Phoenix, Black Tortoise, and Green Dragon. His robes and hair and sash all show a flowing sense of movement. He has what he needs mentally and physically.

His magic, which many of us find so hard to tap into, is the ability to both begin and finish. We wouldn't find him starting at warp speed and then lurching to a stop and walking away from a long line of projects because he got bored or couldn't find a tool. I admire this magic, it respects financial resources and the mental, emotional, and physical commitment enough to know the pleasure of completion is even better than the starting was.

"Opie, you haven't finished your milk. We can't put it back in the cow you know." ~ Aunt Bee Taylor

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Daily Draw: Feng Shui Tarot ~ The Hermit

Not Ghostbusters, but the Hermit who in this deck is the Feng Shui Master. In various stages of development in all of us, he is the one who guides in our site placements of life. Where our internal entrance, exit, and stairs are, where our physical location and orientation should be.

I'm reminded by this card of people I've known who are like fish out of water, flopping about aimlessly, who've never set or stuck to intention. Of myself and my insomnia. I've occasionally wondered if I'm simply in the wrong earth position and should actually be in South Carolina or Maine where my 4 AM internal clock would be a more convenient 7 AM...and how we'd save ourselves a lot of life grief if we cultivated rather than quashed this internal Hermit.

"The most important thing to understand in that feng shui is really about the energy that's surrounding you in your personal space." ~ Lillian Too 1946-

Up front this week is the Feng Shui Tarot, art by Peter Paul Connolly, 232 page soft cover companion book by Eileen Connolly. Published 2005 by US Games Systems. The suit system is: Red Phoenix=Cups=South, White Tiger=Swords=West, Black Tortoise=Wands=North, Green Dragon=Coins=East. That said you won't be seeing them as I've turned this deck into a majors only and have used the minors in a number of art projects. Each card also includes an I-Ching tri gram in the lower right corner.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Imagination

Daily Draw: Gaian Tarot ~What card is this?

Looking back over this week's draws can you identify any tarot cards? The forest fire and campfire are probably wands. And Strength which is more woman and pet. See why I trimmed them? I've been looking at this card for 15 minutes. Which is it or rather was it? And what is it now?

I'm reminded by this card of individuality and creative brainwork. Quilting being my personal passion I've been to dozens of quilt shows over the years and often see two sides of the same coin from my brain point; I'd like to know what were they thinking and others, to wonder why didn't they think. The first being art quilts which didn't speak to me, and the second being quilts with zero zing. Twelve or twenty quilt blocks, all identical, marching back and forth,  imagination frozen in mauve and rose or brown and aqua churn dash time warps. No real point to this post except while I appreciate the artist's nine years of work, I'm sorry I'm not smart enough to appreciate it properly as she intended.

"The creative act is the defeat of habit by originality." ~ George Lois 1931-

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Far But Near Place

Daily Draw: Gaian Tarot ~ Bill

Many years ago we used to hunt elk with two other couples. This card reminds me of Bill. He was an enormous man in a world not designed for him. He used a tarp for rain gear and when the hunting was good he would carry half while Jim and Rob each hauled a quarter back to camp. He played a steel guitar and sang like an angel, and his .270 Winchester looked like a toy in his hands. When we'd gather wood for camp fire Bill always brought back a Yule log portion.

I'm reminded by this card, the blazing fire, the moon, the watchful bobcat, and the stately fir, of old friends, long gone family and a life time ago in another far but near place.

"Leftovers in their less visible form are called memories. Stored in the refrigerator of the mind and the cupboard of the heart." ~ Thomas Fuller 1608-1661

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ocean Junkie

Daily Draw: Gaian Tarot ~ Walking Alone

This image looks like the three mile National Park Service path that runs from the campground at Lake Ozette out to Cape Alava, the western-most point in the USA. About a mile from the coast the very essence of the ocean starts permeating the air, that's where I pick up speed. Ocean scent is my personal cocaine.

I've walked this path a number of times alone, camped at Ozette alone, and today I wonder what was I thinking? Life was simpler when we thought the only pervert in the world was already in jail, that ax murders were something from the Lizzie Borden story. I'm reminded by this pathwalker that was a long time ago, and today I'm on a different path, also one I walk alone. I keep telling myself it won't kill me to do it, with a weak smile for the small joke.

"No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path." ~ Buddha, Gautama Siddharta 563-483 BC

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hand To Mouth

Daily Draw: Gaian Tarot ~ Sorebacks

When it is time for salmon to spawn they leave the ocean and come back to the inland rivers and streams where they were born. I was raised on a 40 acre farm intersected by the East Hoquiam River, and the image on this card was a yearly occurrence. Grandpa called them sorebacks because they were no longer the gleaming silver-grey but pinkish red.

I'm reminded by this card of Grandpa Woods. He worked as a migrant laborer most of his life; my dad was born in a shack on an Oklahoma oil field. With thirteen kids to feed I expect each day's dawning filled grandpa's mind with "where will I find enough food for my family today?". One place was sorebacks that no one else would eat.  I can only imagine that life yet today much of the world is still hand to mouth. How can that be in a world with time and money to burn?

"When I gave food to the poor, they called me a saint. When I asked why the poor were hungry, they called me a communist." ~ Dom Helder Camara 1909-1999

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Something Released, Something Gathered


Daily Draw: Gaian Tarot ~ Beach

With an oracle the first thing to pop into the mind is what you focus on. Pop-beads. Remember those? They are so old they are probably new again. I had a red pop-bead necklace that got left at the beach (cockle shells and starfish, get the leap?) when I was about seven. Mother had taken my Grandmother Pearl and I to Westport for a picnic.

Westport has the lovely Grays Harbor lighthouse, one of my favorites, in fact it is the feature in one of only three real paintings I've ever purchased. Perhaps that day, the day I abandoned my beloved beads in childish carelessness, and listened to the foghorn blow, was also the day that set my long abiding love of those sentinels of the sea. 

"Inside my empty bottle I was constructing a lighthouse while all the others were making ships." ~ Charles Simic 1938-

Monday, December 19, 2011

Support Team

Daily Draw: Gaian Tarot ~ Team

I can't stress how important having a team was during the three years I took care of my FIL, from mild dementia right through home hospice to the end. His children, my husband, his wife, plus the Home Health nurses who came each week...everyone contributed which made my load so much lighter. I'd do it again in a New York minute.

This card reminds me of an insight I had this past week.
Rob was home Wednesday and had some errands to run so all the doggies piled into the pickup with him. I got ready to leave for my daily radiation appointment and was suddenly frozen at the door. Panic stricken. I've been going for weeks now, falala, this is no biggie so why the frozen fear? That's when I realized taking my doggies with me every day has turned them into my own traveling support team. And just how important it's become to have my own little family with me before and after treatment. Never underestimate the power of unconditional love...

"A dog will teach you unconditional love. If you can have that in your life, things won't be too bad." ~ Robert Wagner 1930-

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Renewal From The Ashes

Daily Draw: Gaian Tarot ~ Forest Fire

Here in the Pacific Northwest, timber is king, the basis of the economy. In the modern world we are diversified, but the settling and success of our roots was based on hardwood forests covering millions of acres.

The commercial forests are mico-managed now, cultivated and replanted as crops, some beginning their third and forth generation growth. I'm reminded by this deck based on nature, of the millions of board feet of timber cut to serve as shelter, of the billions of reams of newsprint, typing paper, toilet paper that is squeezed from the lifeblood of a tree each year. Of forest fires so extensive they could doom the economy of a logging community and turn it into a ghost town.  And once again, of devastation, loss,  and renewal from the ashes.

"Don't fling your butt in the forest and we won't fling your butt in jail." ~ Forest Service sign

The Gaian Tarot is a nine year labor of love from Joanna Powell Colbert, a Pacific Northwest neighbor. Gaia is Mother Earth and the deck is based on respect and honor of nature in all it's forms. Published by Llewellyn Publications 2011, the set includes the softcover 270 page Journey Through The Gaian Tarot book. I received the deck in trade a few days ago and while a great admirer of Colbert's art and mission I found the reworked images had little to do with tarot, and the renamed suits and titles confusing...so I cut off the titles and borders and made it into a oracle.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

We Are A Funny Folk

Daily Draw: Legend the Arthurian Tarot ~ 10 of Coins

A winter gathering in Castle Camelot. Look at all that light and here it was, the Dark Ages. I wonder what the average temperature was in a castle at 9:00 PM, even full of people with all the fireplaces going? I wonder that need and common sense didn't supersede convention with women wearing boots and shorter skirts. Can you imagine how filthy dress bottoms must have been?

I'm reminded by this card the past is often romanticized in both fiction and oral history. We are no different. Remember the vacation or job from hell? Within a few days we are telling stories and laughing like loons at life's hard experiences. We are a funny folk, humans. Perhaps that is how we have managed to mostly get by for 30,000 years, and maybe that is the real truth of the 10 of Coins. 

"The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and then writes another." ~ James Matthew Barrie 1860-1937
 

Friday, December 16, 2011

That's Life

Daily Draw: Legend Arthurian Tarot ~ 2 of Coins

Tiny little figures on a great big background, much like us and life. These puddles are all Uther got out of his efforts to change the course of a river into a moat for his castle. Son Lancelot finally regained the family castle and then turned around and gave it to a friend.

I'm reminded by this card it's just as well we can't foresee the future or we'd probably never try to do anything. The real gift of the 2 of Coins is even when things don't turn out as we planned we always learn something and we always gain something, whether we are willing to acknowledge it or not.

"The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson." ~ Tom Bodett 1955-

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rich and Dead

Daily Draw: Legend Arthurian Tarot ~ King of Coins

Uther Pendragon was the father of Arthur. He was a powerful leader whose soldiers would follow him anywhere. As his health failed he appointed a new leader of his forces, but his army had reversed fortunes. So carried on a litter, he once again led his army in defending their lands. In the end the only way the enemy (Saxons) could defeat him was by poisoning his well.

I wonder about 'the rest of the story'. Queen Igraine and Arthur didn't die of poisoning. Did Uther have a personal well? How big of an invitation to poisoning would that be? Huge I expect... A gentle reminder today that it isn't all roses at the top regardless of how much material goods or power are held.

"Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty." ~ Socrates 470 BC-399 BC

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lughnasa

Daily Draw: Legend Arthurian Tarot ~ Sun

The summer festival of Lughnasa, dedicated to Lleu (or the Celtic Lug) is celebrated August 1 and the actual Lughnasa ceremony is said to take place within standing stones. Since standing stones are in short supply in much of the world I expect rocks placed in a circle would serve intent.

I'm reminded by this card not of ancient rites, but of coincidence. I am reading Moonspenders by Jonathan Gash in which Lughnasa came up yesterday. When was the last time I heard or read that word? Years? I think it's great fun when such divergent actions meet in common. Like the Sun card which presages understanding and break through. I think I now know whodunnit.

"There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are given to us to learn from." Elisabeth Kubler-Ross 1926-2004

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Broken Hope, Dashed Dream

Daily Draw: Legend Arthurian Tarot ~ 3 of Swords

This is Palomides, grieving at his sanctuary for the lost hope of Queen Isolt's love and the lost friendship of Tristan. "I didn't mean it that way!" is probably what he is whispering over and over but done is done.

I'm reminded by this card that many times enormous changes come about in our lives that were started by the smallest of inadvertant actions. We can shout "I take it back!" all day long but done is done.

"In this world of change, nothing which comes stays, and nothing which goes is lost." ~ Anne Sophie Swechine 1782-1857

Monday, December 12, 2011

Yawn

Daily Draw: Legend Arthurian Tarot ~ Knight of Coins

Bors, Sir Lancelot's cousin, was everything a good person can aspire to. Excellent skills, honest, loyal, kind, strong supporter of the status quo. Those qualities served him well, he was one of the three remaining knights who survived and achieved the grail quest.

I'm reminded by this knight to wonder why it is  genuinely good people often bore our brains out and can inspire active dislike, for no reason other than their very steadfastness. It's a funny old world...

"Somebody's boring me. I think it's me." ~ Dylan Thomas 1914-1953

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Renewal and Redemption

Daily Draw: Legend Arthurian Tarot ~ Ace of Wands

In Arthurian lore this is known as the Lance of Redemption. Trapped, Balin grabbed it and wounded the Fisher King in the thigh. From that moment the castle and it's lands lay in waste until the time of the completion of the grail quest.

This Ace requires me to admit to two things before I can go forward. Mentally my cancer is exhausting me. Physically in the active sense there is nothing wrong with me. I need both the renewal and redemption of this lance to get me moving again. Would that I can...

"I wanted to live, but whether I would or not was mystery, and in the midst of confronting that fact, even at that moment, I was beginning to sense that to stare into the heart of such a fearful mystery wasn't a bad thing." ~ Lance Armstrong 1971-

One of my favorite decks this week, Legend the Arthurian Tarot, art and 256 page A Keeper Of Words book by Anna-Marie Ferguson, published by Llewellyn Worldwide. My second edition was published 1998, Suits are titled Swords, Cups,  Spears are Wands, Shields are Coins.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Fairy Tale Love

Daily Draw: Fairy Tarot ~ Lovers

Lovers. Relationships. Soul Mates. We get a lot of questions on this subject, the idea of true love seems to dominate our minds, most particularly when it is missing or awry.

I'm reminded by this card long-lasting forever kind of love fundamentally changes who we are. And maybe that is why it seems so hard to achieve, not everyone can or will meld.

"Our relationship grew when we stopped hungering to be noticed and we started to meld into each other. We talked about how the weight was lifting and how our world changed overnight." ~ James Nykolay 1966-

Friday, December 9, 2011

Inhabit A Shell

Daily Draw: Fairy Tarot ~ Queen of Wands

She looks more like the Queen of Swords doesn't she? Alert, decisive, prepared, dressed to the shoes, as we say in FlyLady lingo. The Queen of Wands has stepped into the shell of the Queen of Swords because the need and use of that type of personality was required of her.

I'm reminded by this card sometimes it is required of us too. I have to step outside my blank-the-whole-process-out  radiation appointment persona today and speak up about a weird experience I had yesterday. Which means I'll have to be there today, physically and mentally. Which probably isn't a bad thing when I think about. What is life but a series of experiences? Aren't I the one always rabbiting on about being awake to the life we are living?

"All that is within  him does condemn itself for being there." ~ Macbeth, William Shakespeare 1564-1616

Thursday, December 8, 2011

C'est la vie

Daily Draw: Fairy Tarot ~ 9 of Coins

The closest thing I could find to the original of this image is on the cover of a book of fairy tattoos. There are bizarre ways of being famous in this world, and art from the civil war era making it into a contemporary tattoo book is as good as any.

I'm reminded by this card of the flexibility of the very idea of success. It can be all in the eye of the beholder, thee and me, but certainly it is also in the eye of person in the spotlight. What makes me roll my eyes and an instant later have forgotten it completely might be the pinnacle of success and glory to someone else. C'est la vie and merciful journey to us each and every one.

"The crowning fortune of a man is to be born to some pursuit which finds him employment and happiness." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Yanking Old Strings

Daily Draw: Fairy Tarot ~ Empress

This Fairy Empress channels Isis, and encourages us to dig below the surface of our thoughts, actions, and particularly our beliefs. To ask the why questions of ourselves. This isn't a coddling Empress but rather a taskmaster who refuses to reward sloppy work and sloppy thinking.

I'm reminded by this card, asking ourselves why we do or think a certain way is a hard task. When we get to the bottom we often find the strings that run to old tapes, peer pressure, and habit. And those are the thoughts we most avoid. Yanking a couple of our own strings is rewarding in the end...

"I can laugh at a puppet show, at the same time I know there is nothing in it worth my attention or regard." ~ Mary Worley Montagu 1689-1762
 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Diplomacy Fairy Style

Daily Draw: Fairy Tarot ~ 6 of Wands

Up to date knowledge says the fey don't have fairy wars, nor do they war on their neighbors. If something is big enough, important enough, two are chosen and they fight until there is a clear winner.

I'm reminded of primer school when I first had the bright idea of 'let the presidents fight each other'. Me and a billion other kids that age. Never caught on at the top though did it? It's far too easy to send faceless young men and women off to do the dirty work, to let them be cannon fodder. It is not possible to have a clear winner in today's world, everyone loses. Except the top people who never fight, never get dirty, never get dead.

"Sincere diplomacy is no more possible than dry water or wooden steel." ~ Joseph Stalin 1879-1953

Monday, December 5, 2011

Wish Fulfillment

Daily Draw: Fairy Tarot ~ Moon

Do you ever wish on a star, a white horse, birthday candles, the moon?

This card makes me wonder...perhaps the moon keeps coming up because it is waiting for it's wish to be fulfilled.

"Always leave something to wish for; otherwise you will be miserable from your very happiness." ~ Baltasar Graci├ín 1601-1658

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Helping Only Harms

Daily Draw: Fairy Tarot ~ 3 of Coins

This Doyle image is titled Teasing A Butterfly. He painted it so that must have been his intent, but it isn't the intent behind an upright 3 of Coins, so perhaps this must be viewed as reversed? Because even good-intentioned efforts to help a friend or family can be the absolutely wrong thing to do and can add years of pain and misery to someone's life, including our own.

Rob and I both have brothers who've had a life-long path with drug/alcohol addiction. We learned far too late in the game via Al-Anon and Nar-Anon that all the propping up and bailing out and sheltering were futile, weakening rather than strengthening, and simply putting off the eventual crash that will finally cause them to try to swim rather than sink. They have to make the decision, they have to make the changes. Standing aside can tear our heart out, but we must respect other's decisions and allow them the full consequences. There, is the only kindness we can offer.

The deck is The Fairy Tarot, published by Lo Scarabeo of Italy in 1997, distributed by Llewellyn in North America. This is a odd variant of the Rider-Waite tarot system. Although they labeled it tarot and it has 78 cards, many of them are far afield from the norm. The book often uses the term Oracle and all 12 of the spreads offered use the word Oracle. That's why I like it, and why many readers don't. The kit edition has a soft cover 157 page book credited to Helene and Doris Saltarni on the cover, but only Helen is credited inside the book.

The art for the majors is by Antonio Lupatelli who has done many decks for Lo Scarabeo, the minors were pulled from the body of artwork left by Richard Doyle 1824-1883. Which explains why the images and meanings do not conform to the norm; there weren't many tarot norms in the group. It makes for an interesting and enjoyable deck, if you like thinking outside the box. Which I do. The suits are renamed Leaves/Swords, Hearts/Cups, Acorns/Wands, Bells/Coins.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Practice

Daily Draw: The Chinese Tarot ~ 7 of Swords

Lot of rowdy swordplay going on here. It seems more Knights burning off energy in practice than murderous intent, much flashing and clashing and no blood.

I'm reminded by this card of my daily yoga practice. To the casual observer it would appear very little is going on. Yet each movement is deep and powerful, warming the blood and strengthening lungs, heart, body, and mind. A stylized practice with intent and joy, what could be better?


"Before you've practiced, the theory is useless. After you've practiced, the theory is obvious." ~ David Williams

Friday, December 2, 2011

I Wasn't Raised That Way

Daily Draw: The Chinese Tarot ~ Knight of Cups

Knights are generally armored because they forge forward, make us go further than we are comfortable, yet are also referred to as the teenagers of tarot. As a teen I didn't think much of my parent's world, yet often walked lock-step with my small group just as Knights must by their very station. Embracing change but hidebound. No wonder teens are mixed up and confused.

I'm reminded by this card it is the armor which saves us, because we can grow new thoughts and feelings without the world ending. Eventually most of us do, sometimes morphing into clones of our parents, more often a nice mutation of the old and new. "I wasn't raised that way" are the words that often come out when invited to go against our grain...

"Don't laugh at a youth for his affectation; he is only trying on one face after another to find a face of his own." ~ Logan Pearsall Smith 1885-1946 Afterthoughts 1931

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wait Five Minutes

Daily Draw: The Chinese Tarot ~ Wheel of Fortune

Occupants seldom seen on the Wheel; phoenix, tiger, turtle, and dragon. Which led me to a twenty minute mouserace around the web looking at other Wheel cards and the wide variation each artist brings to their own deck.

I'm reminded by this card our own idea of good and bad fortune can also vary by day. Breaking a toe can be decidedly unfortunate if you work on your feet. But that fortune can be eclipsed the next day by a tooth ache, a big check in the mail, or a earthquake. Thinking "I'm on a roll this year" or "this is really a grim year" loses sight of the fact the Wheel is never static. Don't like your current fortune? Wait five minutes...it will change. If you are paying attention.

"There seems to be a kind of order in the universe, in the movement of the stars and the turning of the earth and the changing of the seasons, but human life itself is almost pure chaos." ~ Katherine Anne Porter 1890-1980

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Self Torture

Daily Draw: The Chinese Tarot ~ Knight of Swords

Instead of rushing toward, this Knight is rushing away from. From what? Opposing army? Tsunami? Forest fire? Enraged spouse? Debts? Internal boogeyman?

I'm reminded by this card, the last is probably what most of us flee. We can scare ourselves worse and in more ways than anything anyone else can think up.

Tim: When you're afraid, close your eyes and count to five. Sometimes it works for me.
Franny Roberts: What happens when you get to six?
Stephen King, The Boogeyman, 2005

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ignoring Temperance

Daily Draw: The Chinese Tarot ~ Temperance

Temperance. Easy to say. Easier to flit from projects rather than finish one. Easier to eat the whole pack rather than pour a serving. Easier to drive faster rather than leave earlier. Easier to walk by the dryer than open the door and fold the clothes. Easier to spend rather than save. Easier to complain rather than correct.

I'm reminded by this card we are none of us perfect, but if we stop to think or focus...we can reverse non-temperance anytime. I raked our long driveway yesterday, nearly killed my back doing it and as I think about it that particular frenzy was probably so I didn't have to think about the mudding  sheet-rock job I've been ignoring. I don't know if I was born an idiot but I've certainly worked hard to become one over the years.

"Living never wore one out so much as the effort not to live." ~ Anais Nin 1903-1977

Monday, November 28, 2011

Uber-Confident

Daily Draw: The Chinese Tarot ~ Queen of Cups

I have a friend who dresses like this, a bit because she likes showboating, but mostly because she enjoys dressing up. I've seen her go to dinner in anything from Mickey Mouse ears to tiara with outfits to match. I admire her pizazz and confidence.

I'm reminded by this card confidence is a multi-sided word. I wouldn't say "I'm not going because I don't know anyone" because I like to meet new people. I wouldn't think twice about standing up in front of a crowd and teaching or giving a speech. But I seldom even have the nerve to wear a dress to town anymore, in this uber-casual Pacific Northwest where people wear their pajamas to the bank and the grocery store and a color coordinated sweat suit works for eating out, dressing well creates a mild sensation, heads turn. I wish I had the confidence to dress up, there are a lot of beautiful clothes and jewelry going lonely here.

"If I could give you just one gift ever for the rest of your life it would be this. Confidence. It would be the gift of confidence. Either that or a scented candle." ~ David Nicholls 1966-

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Plethora Of Pattern

Daily Draw: The Chinese Tarot ~ 6 of Coins

What strikes me first is the repeating patterns in the coins, the table edge, bottom of the picture, bottom of the frame, the rug, the stack by his hand. I said a few months ago I didn't like ritual, that I avoid it. A reader commented my blog post each day is a ritual. A good poke I've thought about often since.

I'm reminded by this card I do have rituals in my life that give me comfort, stability, foundation to work from and come back to. These have been gifts to myself. On the other side of the six coins are the patterns and rituals I've broken myself from, the ones that seemed to arrive fully fledged because I was inattentive with my time and habits or let someone or something else dictate to me.

"Life forms illogical patterns. It is haphazard and full of beauties which I try to catch as they fly by, for who knows whether any of them will ever return?" ~ Margot Fonteyn 1919-1991

One of my favorite decks this week, from US Games Systems, 1989, art by Jui Guoliang.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Know Thyself

Daily Draw: Mythic Astrology ~ Sun

From the book, know thyself is the essential core of the Sun in astrology. This reverses what has been ingrained by well meaning parents; we need to think with a capital I often enough to make a warm and lasting difference in our lives.

I'm reminded by this card we often think in terms of we because we are units in a tribe of some kind. You can see the problem in this by observing widows, widowers, empty next moms, new retirees. Some haven't got a clue how to think on their own, or how to fill their days with meaning and/or joy, or what they even think or know standing on their own.

"If you have a skeleton in your closet, take it out and dance with it." ~ Carolyn MacKenzie

Friday, November 25, 2011

Adrift With The Moon

Daily Draw: Mythic Astrology ~ Cancer

The Greek's mythic patron of marriage and family, Hera honored the loyalty and assistance of the crab by placing it in the sky above, recognized each night forever. In ancient Egyptian myth the constellation was called Scarab for the manner in which the scarab beetle nurtures its larva and was part of the summer solstice celebration.

I'm reminded by this card of our own complex and fractured family relationships. The concept of a gathering which would include Rob and I has become foreign and fraught with pain. The one place it should always be safe to go is no refuge at all. I'm like the ghostly ship in the background of this beautiful image, adrift and simply following the moon which each day puts me right back where I started.

"When did it come to Davy Land that exile is a country of shifting borders, hard to quit yet hard to endure, no matter your wide shoulders, no matter your toughened heart?" ~ Leif Enger 1961-  Peace Like a River

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Corrosive Poison

Daily Draw: Mythic Astrology ~ Chiron

Long story short, Chiron was accidently wounded by the poison arrow of his friend Hercules. A corrosive poison with no antidote, Chiron was unable to find release from the pain, yet unable to die from it as an immortal; it eventually transformed him into a healer and wisdom giver.

This brings to mind Nietzshe's famous quote, What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Walking hand in hand with cancer makes me wonder about that. There is more to the quote we seldom hear, When you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you. We are but mortals and things do weaken us mentally or physically which no amount of denial will overcome. Fortunately we really do have miraculous minds and bodies and like a freeway interchange we find routes around a corrosive wound, and do, live on, wiser if not better.

"Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abbey 1927-1989

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Leo Rampant

Daily Draw: Mythic Astrology ~ Leo

It has been a week of unrelenting grey and rain here; to see our Leo standing rampant with his fiery light and heat is most welcome. Can we even begin to imagine a world before the energy of fire was harnessed to our needs?

I'm reminded this morning of what are now such common place blessings, heat for my home, a range to cook on, hot water, the radiation machine, and this week particularly as I take part in Bonnie Hunter's annual mystery, the electricity to run my iron and sewing machine. All forms of fire unknown as little as 250 years ago and still absent in some areas for the world.

"I sometimes left a good fire when I went to take a walk in a winter afternoon, and when I returned, three or four hours afterward, it would be still alive and glowing. My house was not empty though I was gone." ~ Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reservoir

Daily Draw: Mythic Astrology ~ Capricorn

Winter solstice, the seasonal turn to Capricorn is nearly upon us. Like the ground around us our mental and emotional capacity comes to a more fallow time when we need to conserve and rebuild our personal reservoir. And what does much of the world do? Gear up and go full tilt in December, taxing our patience, finances, and strength.

I'm reminded by this beautiful goat and his background of worlds passed away and nature returning that human beings are the funniest creatures on earth.

"For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison." ~ C.S. Lewis 1898-1963

Monday, November 21, 2011

Something To Fight For

Daily Draw: Mythic Astrology ~ Aries

I've often found sun signs a bit like tarot courts, one dimensional in order to have enough personalities to spread over all the signs. That said I admire Aries penchant to fight. If there isn't anyone to fight with they will make something up and fight with themselves.

I'm reminded by this card and my circumstances of all the people I've known over the course of my life who've had cancer and how they fought it. Take an aspirin and think about it some other time. Quality of life over second or third chemo. Trips to third world nations for miracle cures. Never mentioning it outside home. Bringing it up with everyone. Second and third opinions. Suicide. Continue their work routine until the day they died. Quit work and play for a couple of years. Hiding it from family. Most choose to pick up their crutch and walk so to speak, rather than lie there and get eaten alive. I think the key with Aries attitude is to have something to fight for, rather than someone to fight with.

"I quarrel not with far off foes." ~ Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Supportive Arms

Daily Draw: Mythic Astrology ~ Jupiter

By myth Jupiter is the law and dispenser of justice and the top dog of the top dogs. Also known as Bel, ruler of hurricanes; Odin, ruler of the gods; Zeus, father of gods and men and ruler of lightening and thunderbolts. A lot of heavy capes for one person to bear.

Yet if you look closely at the image he is surrounded by hands and arms offering support and succor. I'm reminded by this card I am not required to be terrified alone. I've surrounded myself with good people all my life but they are not mind readers. All I have to do is ask and I know they will be there, physically or virtually.

"Do you know the terror of he who falls asleep? To the very toes he is terrified, because the ground gives way under him, and the dream begins." ! Friedrich Nietzche 1844-1900

I'll be using the Mythic Astrology oracle, 49 cards illustrated by Anthea Toorchen, 224 page companion book by Liz Greene. This set is designed as a introduction to the world of astrology.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pressing An Olive

Daily Draw: Etruscan Tarot ~ 5 of Coins

This type of 5 came up in the Xultan Tarot also, same type of civilization, you did your part or you perished, no social welfare support system. I think this may be an olive tree? Food of course, but also pressed oil for light and cooking and beauty emollients, and as trade fodder. Olives from the same tree can be processed at the green stage, black stage, and over-ripe or damaged, but the fruit is too bitter to be eaten unprocessed. There is even an anti-cancer agent from the tree wood now.

I'm reminded by this card life is much like the olive,  nothing without some input/pressing from us, but it is everything when we put thought, effort, and labor into it. I'm pressing a few olives of my own today.

"Except the vine, there is no plant which bears a fruit of as great importance as the olive." ~ Pliny 23-79AD

Friday, November 18, 2011

Snow Day

Daily Draw: Etruscan Tarot ~ 10 of Coins

It is only a skiff so far, I can still see the grass, but today is one of my ultra special snow days. I've no have-to business on the schedule, just a day for me. I'm looking forward to getting a double batch of sugar cookie dough in the fridge (Rob and I will bake and decorate Sunday),  getting a good start on my yule cards, (blue and lime!) and hopefully the materials list is up for the annual Thanksgiving mystery quilt at Bonnie Hunter's. (I made two last year, won't do that again, billions of pieces!)

I'm reminded by this card, that I don't have to wear my newest good news/bad news terror like a hair shirt. I have a life to get on with and a snow day all my very own. 10 of Coins day indeed.

"I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow." ~ Scarlett O'Hara, Gone With The Wind 1936, Margaret Mitchell 1900-1949

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Complicated Simplicity

Daily Draw: Etruscan Tarot ~ 3 of Coins

As a entrepreneur from an early age, when we travel I keep an eye out for what the locals are doing to turn a buck. This card reminds me of the leis and frond hats at roadside stands on Maui. The bowl makes me think of all the gorgeous myrtlewood items in southern Oregon. The coins remind of of the slate tiles of northern Wales and the colorful clay trivets of Mexico.

The bounty of nature, of its cycles of renewal, and of the endless inventiveness of my world companions to find beauty and usefulness in found things is a marvelous gift of living.

"Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity." ~ Charles Mingus 1922-1979

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wait Silently

Daily Draw: Etruscan Tarot ~ 4 of Swords

Ever hunted for game or fished? Awful lot of silent waiting goes on. Being cold is usually required. It also involves a three-digit+ gun or rod. Three-digit+ outerwear. Four-six digit+ vehicle combo. Minus time off work income. No showers because you don't want to give yourself away by human scent. That wisdom usually comes from the chain smoker in the group. 'Free meat' is the draw. And that quiet commune with nature...

I'm reminded by this card zen can be found in the wait. Which isn't balanced by the cost and outcome, but still...draw your down time where you can in this cacophonous world.

"The whole wood seemed running now, running hard, hunting, chasing, closing in round something or - somebody? In panic, he began to run too, aimlessly, he knew not whither." ~ Kenneth Grahame 1859-1932

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Refill The Cup

Daily Draw: Etruscan Tarot ~ Ace of Cups

Ok. New day. New deal. New chance to start fresh.

I'm reminded by this card our mental outlook is what we make it. Worrying about the future forfeits our today.

"Even as a coin attains its full value when it is spent, so life attains its supreme value when one knows how to forfeit it with grace when the time comes." ~ Felix Marti-Ibanez 1912-1949

Monday, November 14, 2011

Go For The Laughs

Daily Draw: Etruscan Tarot ~ 6 of Wands

Sometimes it's hard to measure success isn't it? I'm seeing this card today as my radiation doctor and me. I am mentally actually whipping myself to force me to keep the appointment.

I'm reminded by this card it is hard to measure success, because sometimes success in the adult sense of the word often means doing the last thing we want to or think we need to. And doing something that goes against my grain doesn't feel like winning to me. It feels like a failure. They insist it will prolong my life. But at what cost to my body? Yet off I'll go, pushing my sorry breast full of radiation tattoos before me. And I promise I'm done being a crybaby.

"Let the other guys do the crybaby stuff. Go for the laughs." ~ Rip Torn 1931-

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hopeless At Herding

Daily Draw: Etruscan Tarot ~ 8 of Coins

Funny how such a sparse image can bring such a flood of memories. The one off the top is the story my father-in-law told me many times through the months when his past memory sharpened and his present memory failed. Or of Rob when he was fostered out as a child and ended up milking 87 cows morning and night for a couple of months. Even with two farms we do Not have any milk cows and that memory is why. Of the spring calves on my own childhood farm, nothing much sweeter than a newborn calf. Of the calf I found floating in the river dead, tangled up in a downed tree, the mother bawling her heart out on the bank.

 I'm reminded by this card that memory is a funny thing, funny odd not funny haha, and to be honest I wish I didn't remember a lot of the things I do. We spend our days trying to herd our unruly mind, a rogue juggernaut if there ever was one, which always takes it's own path.

"A Memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen." ~ Edward de Bono 1933-

This week it is the 2006 tarot from Lo Scarabeo based on ancient Etruscan art. The Etruscan civilization predated the Romans and the art for this deck was inspired by or came from tombs and necropoleis in what is now Tuscany. Art by Silvana Alasia, booklet by Riccardo Minetti.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Needs Must

Daily Draw: Vampire Tarot ~ Hanged Man

Did Renfield's fear of death drive him mad or did his madness feed his fear of death and the steps he took via flies, spiders, birds, and Dracula to cheat the Grim Reaper make perfect sense?

I'm reminded by this card focusing on the ends and justifying the means we took once we get there sounds almost sane to our ears. Madness indeed...focusing on death, Renfield missed life entirely. Which begs the question, was Van Hesling also mad?

I didn't miss the rat race, but I kinda missed the rats.
Jerry Nachman 1946-2004